I have some exciting and humbling news to share with friends, supporters, critics, and blog stalkers.
First the news:
After several years of wrestling, praying, and mulling (and very intensely the past few months), Minhee (my wife) and I finally thought it was time for me to work on my first book. And while I’m not an agent kind of person (however much I like Jerry Maguire), the conversations about publishing were intimidating and the learning curve so high that I decided that it would be best to work with a literary agent. And so, I’ve decided to partner with Chris Park for many reasons including the fact that she’s sharp, become my unofficial grammar police, used to work for both publishers and as an editor in her former life, and got bonus points since her husband is a Ph.D candidate in New Testament.
With her help, we forwarded a brief book proposal to various publishers.
Just in case some of the publishers are reading this post, I want to again sincerely thank each of you for your interest in me and my book proposal. I was truly humbled by your time and interest and it made the decision more difficult than I could have ever imagined. I’ve also learned to never schedule that decision process during my vacation. It made for some unpleasant rides on Disneyland and a few rolling eyes from my kids. [Sorry kids. Daddy loves you.]
But because a decision had to be made, I took two extra days to arrive at a decision and agreed to a three book contract with David C Cook. You can read the press release from Publishers Weekly here. There are numerous reasons why I chose to work with David C Cook but one of them is the fact that as a non-profit organization, they invest their profits back into various aspects of missions.
Couple weeks ago, I flew out to Colorado Springs, met the team at DC, and finally signed the official contract. The picture above is me signing the contract. Next to me is Alex Field – the poor dude who will be working with me as my editor at DC. Alex: Bro, laff and smyle now becauze you mite not bee smileing layter after you reade the msnuescrpite. Get youre thicke red pen reedy! To the crew at DC: Thank you for welcoming me and I look forward to working together…
What’s the first book about?
The first book is tentatively titled, “Overrated: My Personal Confession of Being More in Love with the Idea of Changing the World…than Changing the World.”
I know. I know. It’s not quite the kind, affirming, and gracious title you’d expect from a pastor or leader. But before you decide not to read it or get offended, this book is not an accusation but rather my personal confession of being more in love with the idea of changing the world…than actually changing the world. Over the years, I’ve learned this truth:
Everyone loves the idea of compassion and justice…until there’s a cost. But the truth is: There’s always a cost to justice.
This book is about my journey in learning this truth – the hard way. It’s a book that details the collision of faith, justice, following Jesus, praxis, and counting the costs. It’s messy and painful but it’s real and it’s my invitation to others to not be so infatuated with telling a good story and instead, to live a good story – a story of faith, hope, courage, sacrifice, and justice.
My greatest hope behind this book is to truly encourage the Church – especially in its pursuit of seeking justice and pursuing the dreams and visions that God may have deposited in our hearts.
I love Christ and love the Church.
I love people and love the privilege of encouraging and exhorting.
I love young people and truly feel blessed to speak, mentor, and invest in this and coming generations.
I love calling and reminding people to the purpose of God.
…to call people to a deeper engagement with God.
…to love mercy, seek justice, and walk humbly with our God. (Micah 6:8)
Can you pray for me?
I’ve had opportunities and offers to write before but it never felt right: I questioned my own maturity in the past. I was concerned about my capacity and bandwidth; I had reticence about my own motivations in writing. But I’ve learned to find peace with those issues. I now have some genuine life experiences and scars to share. It’s time.
In addition….I’ll be turning 44 when the book releases in the Fall 2014. [Gulp] I’m not getting any younger. I’m regularly reminded of my human mortality. I’m reminded that “life is but a vapor.” As I’m fully immersed in the second half of my life, I want to keep pouring into my marriage, my children, and my church but I’ve been also convicted of the influence that God has given me. God has been so gracious to me as I recall my great-grandfather being one of the first believers in small town outside of Pyongyang (in a country that is now called North Korea) and his decision to flee south because of persecution and the threat of Communism. My father was then six years old. I was that same age when my parents chose to take their three sons to a foreign land called the United States. Through years of turbulence, deep anguish, and a longing for meaning and identity, I came to a revelation and chose to receive the good news of Christ at the age of 18. There is so much I can share and this in part, one of the main reasons why I’m choosing to publish…because I want to proclaim God’s goodness, mercy, and grace.
I’m also choosing to write this and other books because I’m reminded of the call to leave a legacy, to exhort others, to pour into younger leaders, and to speak – even through my broken voice and life – into this and coming generations and the greater Church – all in hopes of proclaiming the Kingdom of God.
So, I humbly ask that you’d consider praying for me when I come to your thoughts. I have to turn in the first draft of my manuscript of approximately 50,000 words by September 1. That’s this year. Like in couple months. And I’ve yet to start. 🙂
Leave a comment…
if you have any questions.
if you’re willing to pray for me.
if you’ve got some good advice or encouragement.
if you have good ideas for the next book.
if you have the gift of prophecy and you have a word for this brother.
if you have anything to say.
Lastly, thanks for your kindness, prayers, support, and encouragement. They mean much. The last few years have been so challenging in so many ways but God has been faithful and I have been often reminded that no man, woman, or child are an island to themselves.